We kicked off my new Great Roads series with a deserted oceanfront highway in Nova Scotia, then showed you a set of moss-hung back roads that wind through the Lookout Mountain Valley on the Tennessee-Georgia border.
For the third instalment, we travel to Ontario for a ride on the Forks of the Credit, a road that car and bike enthusiasts have loved for decades. Unlike the first two roads I told you about, the Forks is well known in the enthusiast community, so watch out for traffic (and police.) But who knows? If you hit it right, you may find yourself alone on a winding, twisting road that has became a legend.
The Great Roads series is intended as an eclectic guide for passionate drivers. It will grow and become a valuable, ongoing resource for people who love the road. And we want you to be part of it – if you have a favourite road, tell us about it in the Comments section. Even better, post photos on my Facebook fan page (you can join it by clicking the Like button at www.fb.com/cheneydrive) Who knows? I may drive your road and make it part of the collection.
I encountered the Forks of the Credit Road for the first time in the 1980s on a group ride with some motorcycle racing buddies – and just in time too. My wife and I had moved to Toronto just a few months before, and it felt like driving purgatory – the city was a vast, grey grid of streets designed for efficiency, not fun.
When we turned off Highway 10 onto the Forks of the Credit Road, I remembered the scene in C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe when the children venture into a closet and find themselves in a magical world. The Forks was a tree-lined roller coaster of a road that careened along the Credit River, twisted up hills, and summoned us to dive through its snaking corners.
I've driven the Forks many times since then, and each time I've been amazed at how sweet and perfect it is. The curves are nicely cambered, so you can pull some extra Gs, and the corner radiuses vary from long sweepers to tight switchbacks. And there are some cool, undulating hills where you can get light in the seat (be careful with those). Some of my driving friends have sworn off the Forks because they think it's become too popular and police infested. On a sunny weekend, it can turn into a bit of a Disneyland, but I still go, and sometimes I find myself alone on the Forks, arcing through the corners and remembering why I love to drive. That's what happens on a great road.
The Drive – The Forks of the Credit
Where – Caledon, Ontario
Distance – 10 to 50 kilometres, depending on route choices
Road Style – Twisting two-lane
What you see – The Credit River, dense hardwood forest, rolling hills, 19th century farmhouses, country stores.
Reason to go – It’s one of the most beautiful and challenging and roads in Ontario
How to get there – Follow Highway 10 north from Brampton, them turn west onto The Forks of the Credit Road. Follow its curves west to Belfountain. You can stop for a coffee in Belfountain, then follow Main St. south. (Main St. turns into Mississauga Rd.) From Mississauga Road, turn east onto the Grange Sideroad, which takes you back to Highway 10. But it’s more fun to backtrack and take the Forks of the Credit in reverse!
You can see more photos and video clips from Peter Cheney's drives on his Facebook fan page at www.fb.com/cheneydrive
Twitter: Peter Cheney@cheneydrive
Globe and Mail Road Rush archive: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/car-life/cheney/